Your bloggers have been quiet lately but we have been busy especially Jessie as she has been painting up a storm preparing for two up-coming shows ~one in North Carolina and one in New York, both to benefit the children of Tanzania.  Many of you know that she has recently returned from a journey (safari) to England and Scotland.  Not only did she visit old friends, she recharged her artistic batteries and came home with a mental journal from which to paint.  I have seen the paintings and I can tell you they are a feast for the human eye and for the soul.    She has captured the serene beauty of her beloved England where she lived for many years as well as the fierce wildness of the Isle of Skye.  She continues to document much of what she saw and experienced on former trips to Tanzania with stunning paintings in a more primitive style than usual, full of color though and with humor and movement.  In addition to her works there will be paintings and drawings by some of her African students, children who had never been exposed to art, nor had they seen paints, paint brushes and crayons  until she went there.  Thanks to a generous donation from Marilyn Arthur these paintings have been matted and framed professionally.  Jayne Rhodes, owner of the Framer’s Cottage in Southern Pines also donated fees for several of the pictures.  Imagine what it would be like for a child to sell a painting which would help pay for his or her school fees.   Imagine a child knowing that art has value and can bring  joy not only to the creator but to the one who enjoys and appreciates it.

St. Mary Magdalene’s Episcopal Church in Seven Lakes will host the first of these two shows on May 15 th and 16th from 1-4 p.mat The Gallery at Seven Lakes housed in their church building at 1145 Seven Lakes Drive, just off of Route 211.   We hope you will come.  St. Mary Magdalene’s goes all out with wine and cheese and other goodies.  Check out Sandhills Dig next week and you will see some of the paintings in the show and maybe even a You Tube of Jessie and me.  And I thought preaching was hard!

Have you ever had a tune or song run through your head and you can’t get rid of it ~ even a song that you don’t particularly like?   I’m a bit of a musical purist maybe even a snob.  We sing a few things in the Episcopal Church that I really don’t like.  I think it is called “praise music,”  all  right for Youth Groups or camp songs but they don’t set too well with me during a formal service.  With all the glorious sacred music and good hymns I have a little trouble with:  “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” and “Awesome God.”  Well, “Awesome God” is what is stuck in my head today.  So maybe there is a message for me to hear.   Certainly what Jessie and I started out to do in 2008 has grown like Topsy to a full-time, life-changing privilege.   I was so nervous going the first time and now I can’t wait to get back and see our friends and to continue our journey with them.  It is an awesome experience and I do not doubt that God is an awesome God.